December 13, 2011
Canada will withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, with Environment Minister Peter Kent stating that the protocol “does not represent a way forward for Canada” after announcing in 2008 that it did not intend to meet existing Kyoto Protocol commitments, the BBC has reported.
The Kyoto Protocol, originally adopted in 1997 and targeted at combatting global warming, is stated by Kent as “for Canada, is in the past, and as such we are invoking our legal right to withdraw from Kyoto” and is said to be formally advising the United Nations of Canada’s intentions to pull out.
Kent commented that for Canada to adhere to the Kyoto would cost $13.6 billion (€10.3 billion): “That’s $1,600 from every Canadian family – that’s the Kyoto cost to Canadians, that was the legacy of an incompetent Liberal government” and believes greenhouse emissions would continue to rise regardless with the two largest contributors to pollution – the US and China – not covered by the Kyoto Protocol.
The BBC reported the announcement came hours after a last-minute deal on climate change was agreed in Durban, and the UN climate conference announced a new legal deal involving all countries will begin in 2012 and end 2015. Kent commented: “The Kyoto Protocol is a dated document, it is actually considered by many as an impediment to the move forward but there was good will demonstrated in Durban, the agreement that we ended up with
provides the basis for an agreement by 2015”.
Beijing is reported to have criticised Canada’s decision, with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Wiemin commenting that it went “against efforts of the international community and is regrettable.”
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